tv CBS Evening News With Katie Couric CBS September 16, 2009 7:05pm-7:30pm EDT
the president's decisive moment on race, though, came last year when his former preacher stirred up racial anger. after at first resisting, the president confronted it head on with a speech some insiders believe saved his campaign. >> working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds and that, in fact, we have no choice. >> reporter: with the issue of race heating up again, some political analysts say it won't be long before the president has no choice now confront it directly once more. katie? >> couric: chip reid at the white house tonight. now the latest on that terror investigation that set off a nationwide warning to police about a possible plot involving hydrogen peroxide bombs. today, the f.b.i. identified a key figure in the case, and agents descended on his home. here's justice correspondent bob orr. >> reporter: f.b.i. agents late today began searching the colorado apartment of this man, najibullah zazi. zazi is at the center of what law enforcement sources say may
be one of the most important u.s. terrorism investigations since 9/11. the afghan national denies he's a terrorist. >> of course not. i have nothing to do with al qaeda and any link or anything with al qaeda. >> reporter: zazi, who once had a hot dog cart in new york, now drives an airport shuttle van in denver. but u.s. officials speaking on condition of anonymity say suzuki also recently traveled to pakistan, made contact with known al qaeda operatives, and sought information about building homemade hydrogen peroxide bombs. that background, coupled with zazi's visit to afghan friends in new york over the 9/11 weekend was enough to trigger monday's raids in queens. a senior law enforcement official says new york police and the f.b.i., lacking hard intelligence and fearing a possible attack, were forced to move early as a security precaution. now those disruptive raids have badly compromised f.b.i. surveillance in the case. while no explosives were found, agents did confiscate five to ten backpacks and some cell phones. those are common household items
but also frequent components in homemade terrorist bombs. in fact, ten backpack bombs planted on trains in 2004 killed 191 people in spain. sources say literature on bomb making was found in zazi's position. but it's still not clear the what, if anything, the queens group was planning.& sources say zazi and his attorney have reached out now to the f.b.i. and he has agreed to talk with agents voluntarily. but we have to say he has not yet been charged. katie? >> couric: bob orr, bob, thanks very much. now the place the war on terror began: afghanistan.& three u.s. service members were killed there today by a roadside bomb. this is now the deadliest year of the war, with more than 200 americans killed. the violence has spiked as more u.s. troops join the battle. 62,000 are in afghanistan right now with an additional 6,000 expected by the end of this year. david martin is at the pentagon tonight and, david, the military is about to ask for even more
reinforcements. >> reporter: that's right, katie. general stanley mcchrystal, the new american commander in afghanistan is about to ask president obama to send him tens of thousands more troops. senior military officers compare mcchrystal's expected request to the surge of 30,000 troops sent to iraq in 2007. that has clearly given the president pause. >> i'm going to take a very deliberate process in making those decisions and so i just want to be absolutely clear there is no immediate decision pending on resources. >> reporter: mcchrystal's request for everything from combat food to trainers to engineers could add up to more than the iraq surge and would take at least a year to carry out. before the president approves any of it, he first must sign off on mcchrystal's new counterinsurgency strategy. it focuses on protecting the population from the taliban and delivering services the afghan
government has so far failed to provide. >> certainly you don't make determinations about sending young men and women into battle without having absolute clarity about what the strategy is going to be. >> reporter: members of the president's own party are expressing doubts about the strategy. >> an open-ended obligation of large numbers of u.s. troops risks consigning us to the same fate as others who've tried to master afghanistan. >> reporter: adding tens of thousands of troops will push the total number of americans in afghanistan over 100,000 but still less than iraq. kate any. >> couric: david martin at the pentagon tonight. david, thank you. now the murder of yale graduate student annie le. today we learned what killed her. and as police try to determine who killed her, randall pinkston tells us the focus has been on one man. >> reporter: 24-year-old annie le, a 4'11, 90 pound doctoral student was strangled to death. asphyxiation due to neck
compression, the official cause announced today by the connecticut medical examiner. the results were released several hours after police brought in the man they call a person of interest in the case. 24-year-old raymond clark spent five hours overnight in police custody, submitting to hair and tissue samples for d.n.a. testing. police released him, but say he's under constant surveillance >> he is the only person that we have gotten any type of search warrant on at this time. >> reporter: police say clark has invoked his right not to answer questions. his attorney says only that his client is cooperating with authorities. "we are in regular contact." investigators are now analyzing clark's d.n.a. and comparing it with 250 pieces of evidence collected at the crime scene.& >> they're doing d.n.a. as we speak. i could get the results in 30 minutes or it could be hours. >> reporter: clark lives with his feeian say in this middletown, connecticut, apartment building and worked as a custodial technician in the same yale lab as the victim. police won't confirm whether they are focusing on anyone
else, but say they have interviewed so people who have access to the building where le's body was found hidden behind a basement wall. police will not comment on a motive but say as soon as they have sufficient evidence an arrest will be made. randall pinkston, cbs news, new haven, connecticut. >> couric: in virginia today, a judge set november 10 for the execution of john allen muhammed, the master mind of the washington, d.c. area sniper attacks. muhammed, who is 48, was convicted of murdering dean myers at a manassas gas station. it was one of ten murders and a shooting rampage in the fall of 2002. muhammad's police, 24-year-old lee malvo, is currently serving a life sentence. still ahead on the "cbs evening news," remember tarp? the government was supposed to buy up troubled mortgages. it didn't work out that way. that story next. if you've had a heart attack
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year later." >> reporter: as wall street fell into freefall last year, treasury secretary henry paulson announced an astonishing plan. >> removed these troubled assets from our financial system. >> reporter: he wanted taxpayers to buy up $700 billion worth of troubled assets. shows shaky home mortgage securities that were tanking the banks and drying up credit. >> well, the american people are furious. >> reporter: after heated debate congress responded with tarp, the troubled asset relief program. but one year later, not one of those troubled or toxic assets has been purchased. treasury actually spent the funds, $390 billion so far, on direct cash investments to stabilize the banks. it worked. >> do we have any sense of how much remains in the way of toxic assets? >> reporter: but the congressional panel that oversees tarp recently warned that most of those troubled assets, some $657 billion worth, are still out there and are still a substantial danger to
the financial system. >> the same dangers that they presented back then have not been erased. >> reporter: the president also committed $75 billion from tarp to help working homeowners get cheaper mortgages from the banks. >> more families will stay in their homes. >> reporter: but that program, making home affordable, has moved slowly. the treasury reported last week out of the four million homeowners thought eligible, only 360,000 new loans had been made. >> i have a sense that they are not trying to help me. >> reporter: olga butler is ang they her bank, bank of america, denied her application three times without a reason. >> don't take taxpayer money and say "oh, we're doing everything we can" and do absolutely nothing. >> reporter: bank of america tells cbs news it has helped 9,000 homeowners since the treasury report and is reviewing olga butler's application. one year later, the economy is recovering and for that the treasury deserves credit. but not much has changed and the
value of those toxic assets that weakened the economy to begin with. wyatt andrews, cbs news, washington. >> couric: now a follow-up to our report last night about acorn, the grass-roots community organization. today it ordered an independent investigation of its operations. this is in response to undercover videos that show acorn employees giving advice to a couple posing as a pimp and prostitute on how to cheat on taxes and a mortgage application. the employees have been fired. acorn's c.e.o. called their actions indefensible. we'll be right back. it was tough news to hear. everything changed. i didn't know what to do. right about then, our doctor mentioned the exelon patch. he said it releases medicine continuously for 24 hours. he said it could help with her cognition which includes things like memory, reasoning, communicating and understanding.
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>> couric: from cbsmoneywatch.com tonight, inflation, it's not much of a threat. the government reported today that consumer prices rose 0.4% in august and so far this year inflation is running a modest 1.5%. but that's still higher than last year when it was zero. in health news, a report today in the "new england journal of medicine" ties sugary drinks to the obesity epidemic and suggests that penny tax on every ounce. so a 20-ounce soda that now costs $1.39 would go up to $1.59. the authors of the report say it could cut consumption while raising $150 billion over ten years. now, if that is astronomical, so is this: astronomers have been searching the heavens for planets similar to ours and today they said they found oe. this is an artist's rendering of
corps ros 7b, about 500 light years away. like earth, it has a solid surface considered essential for supporting life. but it's a bit hot for humans, the surface temperature is 3,600 degrees. and are you old enough to remember this?& >> the alligator by henry gibson. >> reporter: sad news today, henry gibson, best known as the poet laureate on the 1960s t.v. show "laugh in" has died of cancer. ♪ everything's a flu, you'd like him better as a friend ♪ then wearing him as shoes >> couric: i loved him. henry gibson was 73. coming up next, the 92-year-old singer who's suddenly outselling the beatles. when the flu hits...
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britain in the second world war. ♪ i know we'll meet again some sunny day ♪ >> reporter: it was sung by vera lynn, who became to be called the force's sweetheart. >> cheers, everybody. >> reporter: vera lynn is now 92 years old with reason to raise a glass. the release of her songs on the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the war has shot to number one in the charts with a bullet. it's even eclipsed the rehe rey lease of the beatles. >> personally, i just can't believe it and i've questioned, i wonder why. nostalgia, perhaps? >> reporter: nostalgia may explain why marion grey has joined the stampede to the record stores. >> well, i like that singing and my age, of course. >> reporter: but it takes more than people of a certain page to push an album to the top. >> last week it really kicked up a lot of younger people coming in for it.
>> reporter: you're scratching your head. >> yeah. >> reporter: what's going on sheer britain at war again, now in afghanistan. more soldiers going away to fight, more sacrifice. more need for the expression of that feeling that vera lynn still apparently provides. >> let's hope that they'll soon be home soon and good luck, chaps and all the best to your families as well that you've left behind. >> reporter: of course, britain has changed a lot in the 70 or so years since vera lynn was everybody's sweetheart. or has it? somehow the sentiment she evoked in a country at war then are still valid in a country at war now. ♪ we'll meet again... >> reporter: mark phillips, cbs news, london. >> couric: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight, i'm katie couric. thanks very much for watching. i'll see you tomorrow. good night.